Chinese Forces Gather on Hong Kong Border to Squash Anti-Extradition Bill Protests, White House Monitoring Situation; Chinese Army Releases Video Warning Hong Kong Residents to End Protests

  • The White House has said that it’s monitoring the situation where Chinese forces have gathered on its border with Hong Kong in a move to squash weeks of public unrest and demonstrations over Hong Kong’s proposed extradition bill.
  • According to reports, “a senior U.S. official who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity said a number of units had gathered, but it’s unclear if they are security police or part of China’s military.”
  • Earlier this week, China accused the U.S. of further stoking the Hong Kong protests and an official warned Western countries to stay out of the protests over the bill.
  • The extradition bill would allow Hong Kong suspects to be sent to mainland China to be tried for crimes, which many critics fear would result in human rights abuses by China and erode Hong Kong’s autonomy.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for China to “do the right thing by Hong Kong.”
  • Pompeo said: “With respect to Hong Kong, this is the people of Hong Kong asking their government to listen to them. So it’s always appropriate for every government to listen to their people.”
  • Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “It’s clear that Mr. Pompeo has put himself in the wrong position and still regards himself as the head of the CIA.”
  • Hua continued: “He might think that violent activities in Hong Kong are reasonable because after all, this is the creation of the U.S.”
  • Additionally, the Chinese army released a 3-minute video “showing troops carrying out anti-riot exercises, in what is being seen as a thinly veiled warning to pro-democracy protesters.”
  • The video was posted on social media and starts off with a solider yelling, “All consequences are at your own risk.”
  • This all comes after more protests overnight where police and hundreds of demonstrators clashed. Protesters chanted, “Hong Kong police know the law and break the law.”  
  • There have been reports that riot police pointed their shotguns at unarmed protesters.
  • The Hong Kong Journalists’ Association has reported that “police attacked journalists who were covering the protests, with a photographer hit in the head by a riot control officer’s shield.”
  • The overnight protest “was sparked by media reports that 44 people who had been arrested on Sunday would face a range of serious charges.”
  • More than 40 protesters appeared in court on Wednesday charged with rioting, and if convicted, they could receive up to 10 years in prison.
  • Though the Chinese army had previously stayed out of the protests for the past eight weeks, at a reception to celebrate the 92nd anniversary of the army, the commander said that the protests have “seriously threatened the life and safety of Hong Kong citizens, and violated the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems.’”

Reference Links

  • News.com.au: Chinese forces gathering at Hong Kong border, White House officials monitoring escalation READ
  • Bloomberg: White House Eyeing Chinese Forces Gathered on Hong Kong Border READ
  • South China Morning Post: Chinese army’s Hong Kong garrison releases video showing anti-riot drills, featuring tanks WATCH
  • CNA: China’s army releases video showing drill of troops quelling Hong Kong protests WATCH

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